HIGHLY COMMENDED French red Château Merigot, Côtes De Bourg 2015 (£14.49, Hallgarten & Novum Wines): Good value, foodfriendly claret with ripe cherry flavours. Famille Deroose Caladoc Rouge, LézignanCorbières, Languedoc-Roussillon 2016 (£12.95, Richmond Wine Agencies): Deep, dark colour and silky smooth raspberry flavours.
GEORGES VIGOUROUX CHÂTEAU DE HAUTE-SERRE Cahors, France 2015 The Vigouroux family are winemaking royalty in Cahors, with four generations having dedicated themselves to making fine wines from the region’s great red grape – Malbec. The Château de HauteSerre is the family’s “grand cru” property, renowned for making Malbec comparable in depth and complexity to top-flight Bordeaux.
VIDAL-FLEURY ST-JOSEPH Rhône, France 2015 The second wine from the esteemed Rhône house to make the Top 100 2019 selection is a classy 100% Syrah from St-Joseph – an appellation where the firm has been making wines since the 1920s. The winemaking for the 2015 vintage– an excellent year in the Rhône – includes what the firm calls a “long and traditional” three-week fermentation with indigenous years, and a 12-month maturation in large oak foudres.
DOMAINE CAZES CLOS DES PAULILLES RED Collioure, Roussillon France 2017 One of the Roussillon’s most celebrated estates, Domaine Cazes has evolved with the region, adding a serious reputation for dry styles to its longstanding virtuosity with sweet and fortified wines – and becoming France’s largest organic and biodynamic producer in the process. Its wines from the dramatic seaside vines of Clos des Paulilles in Collioure are the latest to make, as it were, a splash, with both the white (Highly Commended) and this Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre blend impressing the Top 100 judges this year.
That was certainly a comparison that the Top 100 judges were comfortable in making.
It all leads up to a classic northern Rhône Syrah with plenty of savoury charm, according to the Top 100 judges.
“Very refined with elegant structure, fine tannins and bright blackcurrant fruit,” they said. “Then a surge of bright cherry that leaves you wanting more. Beautiful, balanced wine in an almost Bordeaux style.”
“Dark berries and leather and sweet strawberry and olive – complex!” they enthused. “Just what you want from a Rhône Syrah, plus a little savoury bit more.”
Louis Latour Agencies
RRP £27.50 ABV 14%
RRP £26.99 ABV 13.5%
RRP £16.95 ABV 14.5%
“It has a soft and velvety, come-hither quality”, they said, “with light spice, friendly raspberry and strawberry fruit, and an irresistible moreishness!”
Domaine La Lôyane Cuvée Elie, Lirac, Rhône 2017 (£18.99, Vindependents): Sweet fruit and charry tannin; youthful; long, chunky and rewarding. Domaine Henri & Gilles Remoriquet, Nuits-SaintGeorges 1er Cru Les Damodes, Burgundy 2016 (£57.99, Vindependents): Tightly coiled; fresh cherry; beautiful acidity, crunchy feel. Diva Sud Font de Joubert Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône 2016 (£31.99, Vindependents): Classic southern Rhône: wild, full, spicy, great length. Diva Sud, Un Bon Canon Côtes du Rhône 2017 (£11.99, Vindependents): Good value, good depth: a cut above the usual Côtes du Rhône. Paul Jaboulet Aîné Cotes du Rhône Rouge Secret de Famille 2015 (£7.40, Walker & Wodehouse): Lovely little Rhône: an affordable weekday treat. Domaine De La Creuze Noire Coteaux Bourguignons 2016 (£17.55, Daniel Lambert): Brilliant, vivid Gamay fruit and succulence. Calmel & Joseph Les Crus-Caramany, Languedoc 2016 (£15.99, Daniel Lambert): Warming, spicy and rich: loads of wine for the money. Château Pesquié 974 Ventvri, Ventoux, Rhône 2017 (£14.50, Flint Wines): Abundantly juicy dark fruits and a savoury edge. Domaines Paul Mas Côté Mas Red Intense, IGP Pays d’Oc, Languedoc-Roussillon 2018 (£5.52, Domaines Paul Mas): A banker! Just what you need from Pays d’Oc at this entry-level price. Domaines Paul Mas Château Paul Mas Clos de Savignac, Grès de Montpellier, Languedoc 2017 (£17.99, Domaines Paul Mas): Serious style, structured with great fruit concentration.
The Wine Merchant Top 100
The Wine Merchant Top 100 Winners Supplement 2019